NEW YEAR 2023

DECEMBER 2023

Star of Wonder


When I was growing up, I always loved those days when my mom would open the lid to the piano bench, pull up the keyboard cover, stretch out the sheet music or hymnal and begin to play.  She didn’t play very often but my favorite song was always Star of the East, an old hymn from the 1800’s. I can still to this day hear it’s familiar tune. I don’t know if it was that song or merely my own spiritual intrigue but, I have always been fascinated with the star and wisemen during advent. I am captivated by wisemen from the east who set out on a risky and I’m sure perilous journey of the unknown with only a star that God provided to guide them. A miraculous star that was guiding them and leading them right where God was calling them to go.  And the sweet payoff was not prestige or wealth, but rather a personal encounter with the long awaited and prophesied King and Savior of the world.  


These symbols of the nativity gently remind me that as we continue to engage in opportunities confronting the cycle of poverty in Kenya, we need God’s direction and light to guide us.  And we have found that although the path to opportunity appears to be indistinguishable, risky, and without a clear plan as to how to get there, we have God’s intangible Star to guide our path and direct our steps to His heart and divine purpose.  Our responsibility is to follow and His responsibility is to lead and harvest the outcomes.  The reality is that God is transforming lives and people are encountering His hope and assurance, just like the wisemen.


I imagine that many of us feel this way. That God is stirring within us to move forward or simply take an uncomfortable step where we cannot see the end result or big picture. And yet, that discomfort is the very thing that transforms and builds our faith. That very thing allows His glory to shine in us, around us, and through us. And just like the Star of the East, leads us right to Jesus.


As we embrace 2024, our prayer for Every Life is that we keep His Star in sight and go where He is leading and at work no matter how nebulous, out of reach, or implausible it seems. My prayer for all of us is wrapped up in this simple hymn.

 

Fearless and tranquil we look up to thee

Knowing thou beamst through eternity

Help us to follow where thou still dost guide

Pilgrims of earth so wide


Let us remember that Jesus is the bright and morning Star-the first one seen at night and the last to be seen before daybreak. May we receive Him with joy and be led to His throne as we rise in the morning and as we rest our heads at night. 


Praying all the best for you in 2024 & blessings too,

Brenda Kaker

Director

We are grateful for your generosity and faithfulness in 2023!

There are so many stories and photos to share it was hard to choose.

Enjoy these tidings of joy and celebrate the impact you made!

As you read and celebrate 2023 we would like to invite you to envision the change you can bring by becoming an Impact Partner in 2024. Through one time gifts or a monthly donation you can reach into the lives of people and make a difference each month all year long.

TEAM WORK

Taking teams to volunteer in projects and programs on the ground is one of our greatest gifts! To see individuals begin as strangers and acquaintances and end up as family is an honor and privilege! In October, we had 9 team members ages 11-71 participate in building school desks, community engagement & health awareness. It's not always about what we "do" but the cross cultural experiences that shape and form us as people impacting the lives of other people!

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Community Engagement involves many different activities from playing games and VBS, to food bundle and mosquito net distribution. It is always about engaging with the community and experiencing culture!

HEALTH AWARENESS

One of the team activities was leading Health Awareness workshops and seminars. Our health professionals worked alongside of indigenous health students taking blood pressure, presenting basic health information, and teaching malaria prevention techniques. We distributed food relief bundles to all participants and mosquito nets and blankets to elderly participants and women who were pregnant. We held the first open forum workshop addressing fundamental women's health needs. We served over 350 families and 125 women at the workshop.

SCHOOL DESKS AND SAFARI TREK

Every Life's Safari Trek fundraiser raised enough funds for this team to build 60 desks for a local primary school. The desks were delivered on the Saturday immediately following our team's departure where all the students and teachers showed up in full uniform to gratefully receive the desks!

See Photos from SAFARI TREK

Many students in Kenya still use rocks for desks or sit on the floor. Building desks is a great way to impact communities and enrich education in Kenya. We still have 690 to go!

Explore IMPACT PARTNER opportunities ENRICHING EDUCATION


REACHING VULNERABLE FAMILIES

POULTRY PROJECTS

While FOOD BUNDLES continue to be one of our greatest needs and touch points serving vulnerable individuals and families living in crisis, we are also addressing long term sustainable solutions for families living with food insecurity. There is a chicken shortage in Kenya and this year we launched 2 family poultry projects and will initiate a community led poultry project in early 2024. We will generate 2 additional family home projects in early summer. Each family project houses up to 200 chickens to be sold each month and the community project will house up to 400 chickens each month. Each project can expand their businesses to include selling roasted chickens or move into egg production. These projects are anticipated to increase a family's income by 50% within 6 months as well as serve the needs of the communities. Thank you to Children's World Impact for funding the initial family and community projects!

MONTHLY FOOD BUNDLE and CARE PACKAGES

Recurring monthly donations help sustain widows, orphans, the elderly and disabled. Food bundles usually consist of maize flour(a main staple), beans, cooking oil, tea, and sugar. Each month 50-60 people are fed through the consistent giving of our monthly impact partners. There are no food pantry's or government programs that reach these families and there are many more on the waiting list. Please consider becoming a monthly impact partner in 2024 to feed hungry families. $30 feeds a family of 6 for 2 weeks or provides a food bundle for a month for an elderly person or widow. $500 feeds a community of 40 families in drought ridden or flooded areas for 1-2 weeks. Care packages include toothbrushes, soap, and blankets. Food bundles are delivered to hungry families within days and sometimes hours of receiving funds. Community food bundles are distributed once $500 has been raised.

Widespread flooding has impacted many families in rural areas as well as those living in towns. Thousands of homes have been washed away and it is estimated that at least 700,000 people have been displaced as a result of the El Nino weather pattern that has descended on Kenya. Food Bundles are in high demand and greatly needed for many communities.

Impact Partner opportunities REACHING VULNERABLE FAMILIES

STUDENT SPONSORSHIPS

NEW YEAR WISHES FROM OUR SPONSORED MALINDI KIDS

Our Recent High School Graduates

A majority of our sponsored Malindi Kids are first generation high school graduates. Dennis and Kelvin completed high school in early December and they are looking forward to their next steps. In the fall, Dennis will be looking to begin a diploma program studying agriculture and Kelvin is planning to join the KDF(Kenya Defense Forces). In the meantime, they will be living as roommates learning to budget their living expenses while taking basic computer studies beginning in February.

We began a new tradition last January where those who finish high school pass the torch to those in the last year of high school, who will soon follow in their footsteps. We want to instill in them the value of celebrating and supporting each other in their next steps! Next week, we will celebrate with cake and Dennis and Kelvin will pass the torch to Eric and Juma who begin their last year of high school January 8th.

College Girls are ready to begin their 2nd term

Anna has settled nicely into her diploma program in mortuary sciences. She is in a study program at the local mortuary and she studies online early in the morning and late into the evenings. She loves the hands on training she is receiving as well as the classwork. She said that the work is so rewarding and that she really loves giving dignity to the family as she cares for their loved ones.


Salma spent her first term on campus living in the dormitory while studying Community Health. In October, she participated in the Health Awareness workshops alongside of our medical professionals teaching on maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and also learning how to measure blood pressure using a manual cuff. She officially begins her diploma work in Community Midwifery Nursing in January. She has recently moved out of the dormitory into independent housing and is excited to continue her studies.

SPONSORSHIP LIFE

After a major reconstruction of our sponsorship program in 2022, we are greatly encouraged that this year has been filled with the kids settling in to a life that offers safety, security, and love. It is a privilege to be a part of their lives listening to their hopes, dreams and struggles. They come together at our "home" location in Malindi during school holidays and also have days to visit their family. They help cook, have chores and engage in tutoring sessions. They also have time to do their laundry, play soccer, read, and catch up with their funny stories and experiences at school.

When they visit their families we send food with them so that the families are also provided for. Depending on the family circumstances some kids stay with a grandparent, a distant relative or if applicable they may stay with a parent.



Join us in impacting the lives of these remarkable kids and make a difference in their future.


For $35 per month, you can help us provide these kids with the care and support they need to thrive. Your sponsorship will go towards providing education, healthcare, food and a safe environment for them to grow and develop.


If you have a preference on the age or gender of a child please let us know and we can work to connect you with the right child.

Impact Partner opportunities SPONSOR A MALINDI KID

PRE-PRIMARY SCHOOL SPONSORSHIPS

We love our check-in each year with our 3 sponsored Pre-Primary schools. It always encourages our heart to see the sweet faces, hear their songs, poems and of course their laughter as they played games. We leave cookies, juice, and a new soccer ball for them to enjoy. Throughout the year Impact Partner donations subsidize these 300 students by paying teachers and offering reduced school fees to impoverished families. SPONSORSHIP IS $1800 PER YEAR

Impact Partner opportunities SPONSOR A PRE-PRIMARY SCHOOL

No matter what tugs at your heart

No matter how old or young you are

We invite you to consider how God may have you impact someone else's life




The star of Bethlehem was a star of hope that led the wise men to the fulfillment of their expectations, the success of their expedition. Nothing in this world is more fundamental for success in life than hope, and this star pointed to our only source for true hope: Jesus Christ.

— D. James Kennedy



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